Mastering the Watson Glaser Test 2024: Essential Preparation and Strategies
Higher positions, especially within known difficult areas such as law, require more than the usual technical and interpersonal skills. Critical thinking is a long-valued skill that many employers seek for managerial roles. The Watson-Glaser Practice Test is an assessment tool specifically designed to measure one’s critical thinking skills. It is considered as one of the more difficult critical thinking tests, because it tries to “trick” the test taker and challenges them to think beyond the surface meaning of given passages.
For a critical area such as law, it is important that professionals embody a higher level of critical thinking, especially when coming up with strong arguments. Thus it is administered to those seeking or applying for higher positions in firms and other related organizations.
What Is the Watson Glaser Test?
Critical thinking is defined as the “intellectually disciplined process of actively and skillfully conceptualizing, applying, analyzing, synthesizing, and/or evaluating information gathered from, or generated by, observation, experience, reflection, reasoning, or communication, as a guide to belief and action.” In short, it goes beyond the ability to read and comprehend a piece of information, or even extract data from it. Critical thinking is the ability to objectively analyze and interpret information to form judgments and informed decisions.
The Watson Glaser Tests were developed by Goodwin Watson and Edward Glaser, two psychologists, in 1925. The psychometric test, also abbreviated to W-GCTA, is one of the most widely used assessment tools in various fields. It is being continuously improved and developed.
When applied in law, critical thinking is important in making arguments and drawing conclusions that are sufficiently supported by information or evidence provided. The ability to perform such tasks within time pressure shows expertise not just in law, but in critical thinking as well.
The W-GCTA is divided into five sections, all of which measure different aspects of critical thinking and logical reasoning. The test can come in two forms: 40 questions with a 30 minute time, or 80 questions with a 60 minute or one hour time limit. The Watson Glaser 111 is a 30-minute test, where questions are split into the following sections or subjects:
- Inference (5 questions)
- Recognition of Assumptions (12 questions)
- Deduction (5 questions)
- Interpretation (6 questions)
- Evaluation of Arguments (12 questions)
The questions themselves are presented differently. Understanding how to answer and what these choices mean is the first step in preparing for the Watson Glaser Practice Test. In the end, showing that you are highly skilled in all five traits significantly increases your chances of getting to the next level of the hiring process.
What Companies Use Watson Glaser?
Given its unique ability to measure critical thinking or critical reasoning skills, many law firms and other companies administer the W-GCTA, as it helps them determine skills beyond a CV or reference:
- Clifford Chance – the largest law firm based in the UK
- Allen and Overy – the second largest law firm in the UK
- Baker and McKenzie – an international law firm based in Illinois, USA and has offices in 46 countries
- Burges Salmon – a general practice law firm based in England
- Dentons – a global law firm merged with Dacheng from China, making it the biggest in the world by number of lawyers and offices
- Government Legal Profession – the official group of lawyers working as civil servants in UK government departments
These law firms and organizations use critical thinking tests as lawyers under their wing require great skills to perform under pressure, present arguments in a creative and logical manner, and process information objectively.
Why is Watson Glaser Practice Test Used?
Like most employment assessment tools, the Watson Glaser Practice Test helps hiring managers and personnel to speed up the hiring process, which can take up an unnecessary amount of time and resources. As a psychometric or pre-employment test, it helps employers assess strangers early on if they have what it takes for the demand of the role.
Is the Watson Glaser Test Difficult?
If you are taking the Watson Glaser test you are involved in or applying for, a prestigious role in the legal or managerial field. So, yes the test is difficult and reflects the prestige attached to the role you are interested in.
Considered one of the most difficult pre-employment tests, the test assesses candidates under the headings that apply to the role in question.
To get an idea of the level of difficulty posed try this free Watson Glaser sample test by Job Test Prep.
How Do I Prepare for the Watson Glaser Test?
Preparing for any test is a wise investment in your career. However, given the level of difficulty of the Watson Glaser Test, preparation is essential. You need to become familiar with the test and with the questioning format.
For this, we recommend using the services of a reliable test preparation company such as Job Test Prep.
Using this company you will have access to accurate information. You will also be able to use their test prep packs. With the test prep pack, you will get a range of sample test papers modelled on the real test where you can hone your skills in advance of the real test.
The advantage of using job test prep is it cuts down on the need for time-wasting searches for information that may not always be accurate. It gives a structure to your preparation for the test and allows you to approach the test with confidence.
Preparing for any test there are 2 essential steps you must take:
- Become very familiar with the test. This will ensure your preparation is taking the right direction.
- Put a preparation plan in place ensuring you are using the time you devote to preparation wisely.
Become Familiar with the Test
Becoming familiar with the test is the first crucial step in getting prepared for the Watson Glaser Assessment. Only then will you realise the level of difficulty posed by the test and you will have a clearer idea of the level of preparation you have to do.
Head to Job Test Prep to take a totally free Watson Glaser practice test.
Is the Watson Glaser Test Timed?
The newest version of the test is called Watson Glaser 111 and is a timed test. This adds to the level of difficulty. Thinking clearly within the time restrictions is demanding but especially so when you have to think logically and clearly.
The test consists of 5 sections and you will have to answer 40 questions in 30 minutes. The individual sections are spaced out with sample questions to study between sections leading to approximately 40 minutes of test time.
In answering the questions you will be revealing to your potential employer your ability to look at a situation and assess/evaluate it, look at different perspectives and distinguish between facts and assumptions.
If your reason for doing the test is because you want to pursue a career in law, or a career that will involve wading through formidable amounts of information, scoring well in the test will make a significant difference to your career advancement.
What Are the Questions on the Watson Glaser Test?
The Watson Glaser Test assesses candidates under the following headings.
Here your abilities to draw inferences from information are assessed. Provided with limited information this section measures your abilities to draw conclusions.
Avoid the pitfall of assuming this is something we do in everyday life. Our everyday method of drawing inferences is much more casual than drawing inferences in legal terms.
Having read a piece you will have to decide if the statement that follows it is
b) Probably True
c) Inadequate data
d) Probably False
Sample question 1:
In the following sample question, how would you answer?
Passage: One hundred young adults in their 20s and 30s paid to participate in a recent speed dating event at a bar in a big city. At this event, education and occupation were the most commonly discussed topics among the speed daters because young adults today view these topics as the most important for finding an ideal partner.
Statement: A majority of young adults had not previously discussed education and occupation with their previous potential partners.
Sample question 2:
Presented with two statements you assume the first statement is true. Using this assumption you must decide if the statement that follows is true based on your assumption that the first is true.
This question requires a definite “Yes”, or “No” answer. Consider your answer to the following question.
Statement: About 330 marketing professionals attended this year’s Media Innovations Forum. This indicates that social media engagement is a substantial feature of brand marketing plans.
Proposed Assumption: The extent of attendance in professional media forums is not negligible.
Assumption Not Made
Here your deductive reasoning skills are measured.
You are presented with a statement followed by another. You must deduce if the second statement is true based on the first statement. Again you can answer “Yes”, or “No”.
Your answer must be based on the information contained in the statements.
Avoid falling into the trap of bringing your own outside knowledge into play. Picture yourself for a moment as a courtroom lawyer. You will realize how extraneous factors cannot be brought into a case being argued.
Test your deductive reasoning skills on the following question while avoiding any temptation to bring something you may have heard or experienced into play!
Decide in the following example if the conclusion follows or does not follow the initial statement.
Passage: Bonds and stocks are securities, which differ in that stockholders bought and own a share in the company, whereas bondholders lend money to company owners. Another difference is that bonds have a defined term, after which the bond is redeemed by the owners, whereas stocks may be outstanding indefinitely. So I invested money in company C’s stocks.
Conclusion: I didn’t lend money to company C.
This is where your logical interpretation skills are assessed. You are given a passage to read. The passage is followed by a conclusion. You have to decide if based on the passage the conclusion is true beyond reasonable doubt.
Obviously, careful reading will help you make a decision on the interpretation. In this reading exercise, engage the logical part of your brain. But don’t forget that in the test you will be reading at speed.
Coming to the correct answer in those circumstances requires a clear head and a great deal of practice.
Once again you answer “Yes” or “No”, and your answer must be drawn from the material in the passage. Try your logical interpretation skills on the following exercise.
Passage: In a particular recycling company that generously rewarded workers for each new client they brought in, it was found that 15 per cent of the workers brought in three or more new clients last year. However, among workers who had bribed clients to get their business, 25 per cent brought in three or more new clients last year.
Conclusion: The workers who had not used bribes earned more money than those who did because the bribers also lost money in bringing in clients.
Conclusion does not follow
You probably agree that doing an interpretation of this sort is not an inborn skill, but rather one acquired with a great deal of practice. Working on exercises of this type will sharpen your skills in arriving at the correct answer.
Evaluation of Arguments
Here you have to decide if arguments are weak or strong. You are asked to read a question statement followed by an answer statement. Your task is to decide on the arguments put forward in the answer statement. Are these arguments strong or weak?
Consider this as a test of your legal ability. If you have applied for a legal role making strong arguments is one of the skills you will require as well as the skill of picking holes in others’ arguments.
Use your legal eye to evaluate the arguments in the following question.
Question statement: Should the government close ageing and polluting power stations even if the result is more energy imports?.
Answer statement: No, importing is highly expensive, and the worldwide financial crisis has had a significant impact on the government’s ability to pay for such costly schemes.
Now that you have reached your answer, sit back for a moment and decide why you think the answer is correct. Can you pick holes in the answering statement?
A Career Oriented Test
Each skill being assessed is necessary for a career in the legal profession.
An outside observer may feel these are the types of skills we use in our day to day routines. Perhaps they are but not at the level of finesse you are going to be using them in your legal career. In everyday life, we either accept or discount what somebody is saying without giving a great deal of thought to the matter.
This is why you are being given this level of testing when applying for a legal position.
The testing is asking you to raise your everyday thought patterns to the level of critical thinking.
Your test prep pack will provide you with samples of these tests and solid explanations for the answers arrived at. Using them you can hone your critical thinking skills and prepare to ace the Watson Glaser assessment.
To get a taste of these questions in an exam format, take the Watson Glaser free practice test.
What Is the Employer Looking for?
The employer needs to know if you can look at a situation and assess and evaluate it. And looking at the names of some of the companies who use the Watson Glaser Assessment it is hardly surprising they want some of the more astute people they can find working for them.
So, rather than being discouraged by the difficulties posed by the assessment, it is your task to prepare for it in a way that will show your astuteness.
Test Your Skills
You can try doing some of this by looking over the above assumptions question and applying the following tricks.
In the assumptions, have a look at the first statement. The statement is known as the premise, it lays down the bones of the argument. Mentally, place the two statements side by side.
Now ask yourself if the second sentence, the conclusion, is drawn correctly from the premise. Compare the language used in the two statements. If there are changes from the first statement to the second one it could suggest that a new idea is being introduced so the second sentence could be an assumption.
Now Try Your Skills at Recognising Assumptions
Recognising Assumptions Sample Question:
Passage: Complaints were raised against the town’s sole French teacher for using her monopoly to charge more than her late predecessor. In fact, however, she does not earn more money on each lesson than she would have before, because she lives out of town and her fee reflects higher transportation costs than those of her predecessor, who lived in town.
Proposed Assumption: Service providers who spend more on transportation are more expensive.
Assumption Not Made
Using your skills, decide if the proposed assumption is a legitimate one to take from the passage (answering assumption made) or not legitimate (answering assumption not made). In deciding on your answer check if you can find any differences in the language used in the proposed assumption to the language used in the statement.
Now apply those same skills to this question on interpretation
Passage: In the years 2011-12, 32% of pupils entitled to free school meals (an indicator of low socioeconomic status) achieved five GCSE passes at grade C or above. This is compared to 65% of pupils who were not entitled to free school meals.
Conclusion: Most of the pupils who were not entitled to a free school meal achieved five GCSE passes at grade C or above.
Conclusion does not follow
In deciding if the conclusion follows or does not follow the text you have to use mathematical logic.
Now try your hand at evaluating arguments in the following question:
Question: Should parents put their children in preparation courses for gifted kids, in order for them to reach their full potential?
Argument: Yes; parents are responsible for their children’s future and should do whatever they can to help them succeed in life.
The argument, in this case, is considered weak. Can you see why that might be? Ask yourself if the question asked has been answered. If you were the person answering the question, what would you say to make the answer stronger?
How to Ace the Assessment
Doing these questions may have left you with the impression that the Watson Glaser is a challenging assessment. And it is. But becoming familiar with the exam and with the preparation you have to do are the important first steps in acing any exam.
How Do I Get Better at Watson Glaser?
You may have found while testing yourself on the sample questions that you fell short of the mark and this was without an imposed time limit. But with careful preparation, you can avoid the likelihood of this happening in the real test.
With a rigorous preparation program and using accurate preparation materials, you will manage to offset that problem.
Put a Test Preparation Plan in Place
Getting to your current point in your career more than likely involved a great deal of study and examinations. Preparing for the Watson Glaser involves more of the same.
However, there are the added difficulties that you may be working a job while preparing and may have spent some time away from the world of study and tests.
With your test prep pack in hand, it is time to put a preparation plan in place.
Doing this you may find the following tips helpful:
- Select a place that will be your designated preparation place for test preparation. Ensure it is free from distraction and is a place you can leave when you take a break.
- Draw up a timetable. Be realistic in this and ensure it is a timetable you can stick with.
Planning how you will use your timetable take into account how we get the best from our brains:
- The brain works most efficiently when we work in short bursts of time. Limit each span of working to 50 minutes.
- Breaks work wonders for our mental abilities. Take a 10-minute break after each 50-minute session.
- Our brains rely on our bodies to enhance our mental powers. Build in adequate rest if possible and good nutrition.
Give structure to your preparation. Nothing interferes with preparation like working without a structure. Especially if you are dealing with the rigours of working a job you do not need to waste your time.
Use Your Sample Questions for Every Test Preparation Session
This ensures your work has a structure but also provides the following benefits:
- You are working on tests mirrored on the real test leaving you with no surprises on test day
- With each paper your familiarity with the test increases
- You can measure your progress from test to test
- You are learning how to work within the time confines of the test
- Your scores are indicating the areas that need extra revision and more work
Pitfalls to Avoid
You have probably found during preparation for previous tests there are pitfalls we all fall into. Try to avoid:
- Allowing your familiarity with material to lull you into a false sense of security. Knowing the material and marrying it to an examination question are very different skills.
- Taking a half-hearted approach to material you may not like. If you dislike material this is probably the area that needs the most attention. We generally dislike things we find difficult.
Doing the Watson Glaser Test
The shortness of the test, 40 or so minutes, is one of its challenges. You will have learned through your work on the sample papers that you will be working under intense pressure for those 40 minutes.
It is important that you are well-rested on the day of the test. Doing a late-night study marathon before it will jeopardise your chances of success.
You need to be clear-headed if you are to give the test your optimum.
When you are given sample questions to look at between sections make sure you read them. They are your guide to what is coming next. Working between different types of questions is in itself challenging.
Reading through those questions will help you adjust your brain from one type of questioning to another and capitalize on the work you have done.
If you have been invited to do a Watson Glaser Assessment Congratulations! To help you ace the test you will find the resources you need here.